The social media empire of Instagram-famous sisters Claudia and Jackie Oshry is crashing down. Their viral podcast, "The Morning Breath," was canceled by media company Oath on Thursday morning after a report identified their mother as anti-Muslim activist Pamela Geller.
Claudia Oshry established the sisters' social media prominence with her Instagram account @girlwithnojob, a page mostly filled with memes that boasts almost 3 million followers. Jackie Oshry jumped on the bandwagon, opting instead to populate her page, @jackieoproblems, with selfies featuring her signature red pout, for which she amassed a fan base of 93 000. (The lesser-known Oshry sisters include Margo, who runs Insta-food account @hungoverandhungry, with 103 000 followers, and Olivia, who helped run the now-defunct podcast, during which Claudia and Jackie provided commentary on pop-culture happenings.)
The women have gone to great lengths to conceal their controversial mother's connection to them, never featuring her in photos or mentioning her by name, but an article published Wednesday in the Daily Beast shed light on the family secret, creating a flurry of accusations about the sisters' own politics.
Geller, a supporter of President Donald Trump and the author of the blog Geller Report, is widely known for her controversial views. The Southern Poverty Law Center labeled her as "one of the most flamboyant anti-Muslim activists in the United States."
While being related to an accused racist may not be grounds for dismissal, online commentators pointed to the sisters' own past political commentary on social media as the reason for cancellation. Old tweets suggested that the sisters' decision to sweep their connection to Geller under the rug, instead of publicly denouncing her comments, might hint at their true political leanings. In a statement released by Oath, the company stated it would launch an internal investigation in addition to immediately axing the popular talk show.
Some of Claudia Oshry's tweets in question, which are no longer on the site, include remarks with racist undertones. "I can't help but feel like I'm funding terrorism when I take a cab," she tweeted in 2014. And in 2012: "Today my co-counselor told me she thinks Obama is muslim #soulmate."
Claudia Oshry issued an emotional apology hours after celebrating the news of Jackie Oshry's engagement. "Some news broke this morning about who my mom is and then some really disgusting, vile, stupid tweets of mine resurfaced," she said in a video posted to her Instagram. "I need to just come right out and say how sorry I am."
She defended herself by saying the tweets were from when she was 16, and that she was just a kid thinking she was funny. While some followers took Oshry's apology as genuine, not all were as quick to forgive.
The social media maven's follower count has plummeted since the news broke, with about 35,000 lost on Thursday by the time of publication, according to stats from Social Blade. Geller's, on the other hand, have remained relatively stable throughout the controversy. It appears that Jackie Oshry has deleted all of her sponsored content from her Instagram feed, implying that she may have been dropped from her partnerships following the disclosure.
The Washington Post